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we're lo we're definitely looking out for you. >> welcome to this very special studio audience edition of "hannity" tonight. the full hour a real american hero who served our great nation more than three decades in the u.s. army, four-star general stanley mcchrystal, and his 30-plus years began following his graduation from west point in 1976 and the years that followed rose through the ranks and openly became the highest ranking military officer in afghanistan as commander of u.s. forces and the international security assistance force. now, few americans have dedicated more time to this country and general mcchrystal served throughout six generals and i will ask each and every
president, including president obama, and the unexpected moment came in the wake of an interview with rolling stone, magazine in which the general and his staff appeared to criticize vice-president biden and other white house officials. later tonight we will revisit that highly controversial interview and set the record straight the events surrounding his activity duty. first we welcome the studio audience author of the brand new memoir "my share of the task" retired u.s. army general stanley mcchrystal. [applause] >> it's an honor to see you. thank you so much for coming. >> sean: first of all, i've got to start, this book i could not put down and more importantly, i look at your life over the three decades, you dedicate your life to the service of your country. it's an amazing -- it is an amazing sacrifice. you go into the details about it. it's hard on our servicemen and women. >> it's amazing that i could have three decades and service and still be 26 years old.
>> sean: yeah, you look great. >> exactly. no, it's an honor to be here and it was an honor to serve alongside men and women that i admired so much. >> sean: yeah. and in that came out loud and clear in the book, your service was number one, the people that worked under you and the country you loved. you talk about four christmases away from your wife who is in our studio audience tonight. you listened to alabama, christmas tunes, and it's hard. and you grew up an army brat. >> i did. when you're gone at christmas it's got a special feeling. you can be gonna lot, but christmas hits you differently. particularly young soldiers who have young children and think about what thr they're missing and what the children might be missing. i remember when i was a child one of six siblings and get up in the morning and parents would have gifts piled for us and run downstairs and be excited. one of the most things that was most excited was to have
my dad and my mom with us and i remember when my father was in vietnam, my mother would try to keep up christmas the same way. in fact, my oldest brother became a soldier for 31 years. >> you're the spitting image, now that. >> i do. my son was telling me, it might be a little scary. she would keep that up and for me, christmas had a special time in which the joy of family was there, but when you're away a little of the hollowness. all throughout your life you've got a little rebellion in you. as a young kid, nearly set your house on fire. what were you thinking, general? >> i guess i wasn't. i played for mario's pizza parlor basketball team and we were that season 0-10, but i draped this red basketball uniform over a lamp in my room because it produced a red glow around the room, i thought that was great i went off somewhere else and of course the nylon uniform melted, set
the desk on fire and my father comes up and the desk he had built for my brother and i was a wall of flame. he puts it out and in a day or so we sort of had to have a meeting of the minds. >> sean: in other words, your-- but you said he was nice about it. you mentioned one time in the book where your father, and i got the same treatment, took the belt to you and that was because your father would give a homeless guy coffee and donuts every day and you made fun of him. >> no, i was-- >> you didn't do it. >> no. >> sean: what happened at west point, reprimanded all the time. >> yeah, i think i was innocent there, too. and my roommate from west point is in fact here. no, i went to west point with the idea i wanted to be an infantry soldier, i wanted to go out and join the army and i thought of west point sort of as the speed bump along the way, you went over kind of slowly and went on. when i got to west point they didn't see it that way. they saw west point as a serious thing you had to pay attention to. the first couple of years we had this tension between me
and the academy and i had problems with discipline. i got what they called slugged four times. i walked 127 hours on the area. in fact, at one point i got slugged the day after i got off my previous slug and when i went in for the little trial, there was a full colonel who was adjudicating this, depending how he judged it, i would either be thrown out of the academy for too many demerits or just get a big punishment and be under it. as i stood in front of him, he said to me, you've got to explain to me something. you just got off a slug and now you're going to eat another big slug, as soon as he said that i could have hugged him, i knew i was going to get punished, but not thrown out. the first two years were hard, but i started dating seriously and-- >> i'm going to get to that and also a special day for her. there are a lot of serious things we've got to talk about, but i just want people to know your background and there are certain things that you point out in the book that really struck me.
one is, it was sad when i read the part, were you discussing war, how a country starts with great enthusiasm and then it wanes and then there are these guys off in a foreign land and that he have got to grind it out every day. that's happened in iraq and afghanistan. and we have a lot of politics being played. our troops, by john kerry, as a matter of fact, was saying they're killing innocent civilians in the dark of night, i can't believe he's going to be secretary of state. that happens. tell us that part of being a general, your job. >> i think it happens in almost any war if you look at our history. what starts as great enthusiasm and a little naivete and what the war will cost changes when people start to feel the losses that are involved and just the time. and as the years pass, often the public excitement for it, the public support can wane. in the force, soldiers can begin to feel that they're out
pursuing the nation's business and not sure if people care. i think the american people in fact have been remarkable in the war on terror in their grace and their support of american soldiers. but i think to many americans, american soldiers are anonymous. they're somebody you see in an airport. you say thanks for your service, or you might buy them a meal or do something nice. but you don't know them because most cases they're not from your family, they're not from your town. they are a fairly small group, less than 1/2 of 1% of all americans are directly affected by this so i'm not sure that we appreciate just what it takes to do these repetitive combat tours. you would have to contact families, loved ones of those killed in service. i've got to imagine the hardest part of your job. >> yeah. when you lose a member of your command, what would happen is there would be a formal military notification of the
chaplain person, but the unit owns that responsibility for the family and for the loved ones extended. and so what would happen, particularly in a war where the unit stays forward, but the fallen, the remains come home, in fact, it often felt annie and other wives to gather around the widow or the widower in the case, whatever the case may be, and to show them the kind of support that is so necessary. >> sean: you tell a story in the book about a young soldier that you met whose father was a ranger and died under your command and it was a pretty touching exchange, you explain. tell us that story. >> it was christmas eve 2009 and command sergeant major mike hall and i who is here tonight, we were travelling to as many bases, small out of the way bases to soldiers, and we were flying and two helicopters with a small team and we arrived at one small,
looking fort in afghanistan with about 70 total soldiers, afghans and americans, out of wait places. as we came in, there were some small christmas decorations inside the huts and we went inside and thanked the soldiers for what we were doing and toward the end. time we were there we posed for pictures. as the soldiers become more comfortable with you, they want to take a picture with you, they can send home as a memory. as we're doing that, one young man came up close to me and i always like to address people by their name and looked at the name tag and froze, because he had a distinctive last name and i looked at him and i asked him if his father had been a soldier and he said, yes, he had. and i hesitated a minute and i said, was your father a ranger? the young man knew where i was going, i'd served with a ranger young officer who had been a tremendous soldier and had gone on to one of our special operations units under my command and killed in the
summer of 2005 in iraq under my command so now i'm here and i knew his wife, the young soldier's mother and now in 2009 i'm seeing his son, essentially taken up the responsibility that his father had had for so many years, all by choice, there's no draft. this is a young man who decided to serve on the far edge of operations and-- >> general, we're going to come back and continue. thank you so much for being with us. i do have one bone to pick with you, why you voted for obama in 2008, but i'm teasing. and also, we will get into the issue, the day you were fired and what that meant and what your life means now and coming up, a day that changed america and for general stanley mcchrystal it was a day that redefined his career and led him to be the key figure in the capture of osama bin laden the general's 9/11 story, and his career ended suddenly. the general opens up, what
would force the general to resign at the height of his career as "hannity" continues. take tylenol or take aleve, the #1 recommended pain reliever by orthopedic doctors. just two aleve can keep pain away all day. back to the news. to help protect your eye health as you age... would you take it? well, there is. [ male announcer ] it's called ocuvite. a vitamin totally dedicated to your eyes, from the eye care experts at bausch + lomb.
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>> a new variant of the old course. at bragg we of over the sicily zones. the air force load master leaned close to my boss and heard him that a struck one of the world trade center towers and then the green light came on, we jumped. we left polk that morning with america enjoying an imperfect, but relatively stable era of peace, our feet landed on a nation at war. >> and that was an excerpt from general mcchrystal's brand new book detailing how he was in the middle of a training jump when news of the 9/11 attacks hit and just like the general every american remembers where they were the
day that america changed. and still with me to explain how that shifted his military career, is general stanley mcchrystal, his book memoir "my share of the task" which is in stores now. i want to start here, because this is what led to you to become the top commander. so you hear all of this, you're in the middle of a jump, you get down on the ground and then your mind starts thinking, you describe it in the book. >> absolutely. my driver told me that the-- the second plane had hit the world trade towers and it was obvious to me that this was an attack and that things were going to change dramatically. we went back to our headquarters and of course there was confusion all across america, how do you secure installations, the things you have to do, but if you think longer, i was aware of al-qaeda and i was aware of what they'd done to the embassies in the summer of 1998 in africa, of the cole bombing, what not and this brought it real. it was no longer a general threat, this was very specific
and it was war. and i tried to process what that was going to mean for soldiers and it wasn't, it wasn't clear. >> sean: one of the things, general, that has frustrated me is you talked about the enthusiasm that people had, the new president was elected in the case of barack obama. he was resistant to use the term "war on terror" it was overseas consistency operation, man-caused disaster and went on the tour, america has been arrogant. you voted for president obama in 2008. when you heard those things, were you surprised? >> i think it's important that we think about how soldiers think about conflict because when a soldier's forward and they're shooting and there are people getting hurt and people getting killed, it's important that we define for those warriors the importance of what they do. and so, i think it's important sometimes we use verbage that
rises to the level. i think the war on terror gave a good sense to people who were serving forward that there was a purpose, there was a larger meaning to what we were trying to do. >> sean: was it then a mistake not to say it? did it send a bad signal to the enemy that we're afraid to mention, political correctness in a sense has infiltrated our military operations? >> i think there are the nuances of politics and how they are wording and sometimes perceived around the world and those are all important considerations, but i'll talk about how a soldier feels. if a soldier is shot at. >> sean: it's a war. >> yeah, it feels like a war. after the death of nicholas burr in fallujah, i think everybody will remember the dragging through the streets that happened thereafter, you said that this is a war on terror and that we have to not-- we're not here to fight a war on terror, we're here to win a war on terror.
and that's what i want to hear out of military leaders, otherwise, why are we sending our sons and daughters to fight? if we're going to fight a war and they're being shot at, we need to win it. >> i think it was important if you go back to the spring of 2004, we had gone into iraq almost a year before and for the first few months it looked as though iraq would sort itself out. it didn't-- it wasn't clear that iraq was going to be very, very violent as it became. but in the spring of 2004, with the initial, i call it the meltdown of flallujah at the beginning of april, it was clear to me it was going be to be lock and it was going to be bloody and very difficult and it wasn't clear who was going to win this and it was going to take focus and so what i was trying to do with my force, i think it was important, was not to think after rotational mentality, not to think of this as another thing we're doing, but make sure we understand, you can win a war as winning, and
focused that we're not here to fight, but to win. >> sean: how widespread working in iraq afghanistan, i made the contention, i believe, and i've interviewed a lot of people in the military that radical islamic thought is far more pervasive than we really know here in the states. am i right? >> well, i don't think it is by any means the majority. but radical islamic thought is geographically widespread. if you look back at what accelerates it, there are people -- the words that are repeated most often in the muslim world were humiliation, frustration, and those were things that caused, particularly a younger generation, to want to lash out. this is-- these are society in many cases where opportunities don't exist. the biggest accelerant to bringing foreign fighters who were very, very radicalized into iraq, the suicide bombers or fighters, was films from
abu ghraib. because what happened is, when they saw the misbehavior that seriousness behavior, a small group of american soldiers, it fit preconceived notions and it fit propaganda, it says this is what we thought about the americans and this validates that it's true across. we knew it wasn't, but it precipitated this energy that came from north africa, syria, for a flood of young people who came into iraq. >> sean: and we'll have the truth behind the general's rolling stone interview that ended his career in an abrupt fashion and finding bin laden and general stanley mcchrystal was in that operation and he says there were missed opportunities in pakistan. and the general goes behind the scene on the hunt for the world's most wanted terrorist
and the change he brought to the counter insurgency fight. >> i'm coming here to listen to my commanders and afghan partners, this is all part after listening tour. one thing i'm talking to them about is discussing the way we conduct counter insurgency. the cultural shift is to go from what we were raised as in many cases toward conventional war and kinetic options to remembering we're really here to win the population and sometimes an indirect or a softer approach is operationally more effective than might be more traditional. i think we'll all continue to work toward it, i can't predict, but i believe we're doing the right thing in making sure that every soldier and every civilian at every level is sensitized and focused on this. what are you doing?
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>> tonight i can report to the american people and to the world that the united states has conducted an operation that killed osama bin laden, the leader of al-qaeda and a terrorist who's responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent men, women, and children. >> welcome back to the special edition of hannity. now, that was president obama, the might that we learned seal team six took out the world's most wanted terrorist, osama bin laden and still with me to talk about the mission, his role in hunting the world's most wanted terrorist and about al-qaeda's ongoing threat to the u.s. is general stanley mcchrystal, his memoir "my share of the task" is now in book stores. you write in the book extensively we missed opportunity. >> we missed opportunities, particularly at tora bora the end of 2001, early 2002, but then after that, osama bin laden became very, very difficult to see his
communication and movements were extraordinarily carefully controlled and of course we believed that entire period was operateening western pakistan. >> sean: you became a bit of an expert on him. what did you learn about him? >> well, if you go back to his history, from his early years, he became radicalized really, by an instructor he had in-- when he was about 14. he later became very, very incensed, of course, a supporter of the mujahadeen in the war against soviets, but saudi arabia after iraq invaded kuwait. >> sean: he's originally from there. >> from saudi arabia, correct. >> sean: so when he offered his government the opportunity to have a force of mujahadeen to defend the country in lieu of american forces he was very upset when the government didn't accept that offer. he became increasingly radicalized from the years following that.
>> sean: yeah. bill clinton, i wrote about this in a book i wrote back in 2002, had multiple opportunities. the sudan offered bin laden to us and an excuse in a speech he once game in long island, i didn't have the legal justification to take him. did we miss opportunities then. >> i think over a number of years, osama bin laden was vulnerable in a number of places, vulnerable in afghanistan and particularly in the the sudan, probably vulnerable in some of our partner nations allies would have decided in fact to take action or give him up to us. >> sean: but as his-- in the early years, the threat that he posed wasn't clear and i think people were reticent to accept the risks involved. i think in retrospect it was a mistake. >> sean: when you eventually took over in afghanistan, you talked extensively, and i quoted you on this program often, you requested 40,000
troops and if we didn't get them, you said, we had a risk of mission, i think, failure in afghanistan. and i -- there was a long controversy and i used the term the president dithered and dick cheney said the same thing and came back, 30 of the 40,000 you requested. was that a mistake? >> well, i'd like to take it back just a little bit. i was in the joint staff in the summer of 2008 to 2009 really when a number of assessments of the numbers in afghanistan were conducted. my predecessor in afghanistan had requested about 34,000 troops and that was acted on partially in january and then, subsequently some more in the spring. when i came in in the summer of 2009 i was asked to do two things, one was to do an assessment of our strategy there, what might need to change and then what resources we might need. i came to the conclusion we had to change how we were operating. we had to change the focus.
and i offered that in a strategic assessment back to leadership in washington d.c. and also into n.a.t.o. i also subsequently said if you accept that strategy proposition and recommendations then these would be the resources that i think would be required. 30, 40,000 force. >> sean: didn't get them. >> eventually what i got was 30,000 american forces and pressure from the the united states and n.a.t.o. allies to make up the additional 10. >> sean: you know what scares me? you said you were not confident after all these years of the outcome in afghanistan. that's frightening to me. >> it's extraordinarily difficult and i believe that much more needs to be done. i think the government of afghanistan has got to step up more. i think our pakistani allies have got to continue to shape their behavior. i think there's every possibility for afghanistan to move forward and come out successfully, but there's tremendous risk that it won't. >> sean: you also talked about
a conference call that you had with president obama and you were one of a few people, if not the only person that you knew, that spoke out against the stated withdrawal date. explain why you thought that was a bad idea or a dangerous idea? >> well, the way that actually worked was we had a series of video teleconferences and between one of those video teleconferences i was asked my opinion on -- i was told about the potential for additional forces and asked my opinion on setting a date. i gave mime recommendation, and my recommendation was i didn't recommend that to be a good idea. subsequent to that, but before president obama made the final speech in west point, he in fact brought carl ikenbury and i together on a video teleconference in the white house and brought out what he was going to say and asked if we could live with it. i told him i could. i told him if i thought i couldn't live with it i would have spoken up and said
something. >> sean: i think it was the defense secretary at the time, i don't remember exactly who you quoted in the book, that said to lower your expectations at one point about the ultimate outcome. do you remember that? secretary gates. >> there was always a discussion in the policy deliberations on what our expectations ought to be. and it was very difficult to say what the mission was, was it just to keep al-qaeda out of afghanistan? or was it in fact to ensure afghanistan survived the sovereign and unified state? it was very hard to actually separate those two because for al-qaeda not to have the ability to operate in ungoverned territory, i believed and i think many people did, that it was necessary afghanistan survive as a nation state. to do that, i believe the counter insurgency strategy was important. >> sean: we have got to take a break. do you really only sleep five hours a night. >> only sleep five. >> sean: and eat one meal a
day. >> right. >> sean: up every morning at 3:30. >> right. >> sean: wow. all right. just when i'm going to bed. all right, when we come back, details about the interview that did end his career and why general mcchrystal ultimately criticized the obama administration in rolling stone magazine. we'll ask him about that. but first, not many americans can count the honor of serving under six commander-in-chiefs and it's one of the the general's many accomplishments and he opens up about these presidents, what separates one from the other when we come back. see, i figured low testosterone would decrease my sex drive... but when i started losing energy and became moody... that's when i had an honest conversation with my doctor. we discussed all the symptoms... then he gave me some blood tests. showed it was low t. that's it. it was a number -- not just me. [ male announcer ] today, men with low t have androgel 1.62% (testosterone gel). the #1 prescribed topical testosterone replacement therapy, increases testosterone when used daily. women and children should avoid contact with application sites.
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>> and welcome back to the special edition of hannity. featuring the one and only general stanley mcchrystal. and spent years on the front line on terror and in his tenure worked under six different u.s. presidents, jimmy carter, ronald reagan, george herbert walker bush, bill clinton, george w. bush and president obama. and his book is now in book stores. six guys, a the lot of presidents, who stands out in your mind. who did you like the most and why did you vote for obama in 2008? >> i had to sneak that in. >> sure. you know, you admire something different about each president and of course, i only got to know some of the latter because i was senior enough to have interaction with them. the day i retired, the ceremony on the day i retired, the elder george bush called
me. i'd never met him and he called me as about an hour before the ceremony, just to wish me well and thank me. >> sean: a good man. >> i thought that was an extraordinarily touching move. of course, his son i worked very closely with and i remember when it got difficult, and i cover this in the book, he brought me to ummer of 2005. we were in the middle of the fight in the west which was very difficult in iraq and fighting while we were working hard to get abu assad and hadn't gotten him yet. and brought me in with the national security council and asked me directly, okay, are we going to get him? and my response was with confidence yes, but i couldn't tell him how quickly, but instead of falling back the way that some leaders might do, you know, false pressure or something like this, he was supportive and professional he said well, stay at it. so, very, very impressive to
me. president obama was very gracious to me in every engagement that we had. we did the analysis in the fall of 2009 on the strategy, additional forces and there were extraordinary political pressures pushing on them. there were pressures at n.a.t.o. and pressures inside afghanistan. i'm quite sure there were tremendous political pressure inside the united states and as we went through the process i appreciated the chance to be consulted and to be able to provide my unvarnished input each step of the way. >> sean: i'm going to get to obama and your relationship with him a little in the next segment. let me ask you, two recent announcements in relation to chuck hagel as defense secretary and john brennan cia. i have a problem and a lot of people do when, for example, chuck hagel couldn't identify hamas and hezbollah as terrorist organizations.
he was reluctant to do that, or even the iranian revolutionary guard or his comments about israel which i found quite disturbing. when he goes on to say that the jewish lobby intimidates a lot of people and in the case of brennan, he's got issues involving the holyland case where one of these hamas guys actually got into our national security center. when you read those things, nothing your background and knowing our enemy, what do you think? >> well, i think that, first, i don't judge the president's cabinet selections in quite the same way some people do by policy. i really think the most important thing, does the president trust them. 's got to form a team. the president's ultimately going to be responsible for the direction in which the administration goes. the cabinet has got to be a cohesive team that operates together. i think it's extraordinarily important that they have bonds
of trust that operate as a single team because if we don't we're not going to be effective no matter what our policy. >> sean: all right, general, we're going to take a break and when we come back we'll talk about president obama and we'll hear the general's damaging rolling stone interview and why it ended his military career and his meeting with president obama next. >> from the moment i've seen the article i knew there were different options how to act and react the storm i would face. i knew only one decision was right for the moment and for the mission. i didn't try to figure out what others might do, no heroes or mentor's example came to mind. i called no one for advice. it was light when we landed at andrews air force base and we drove to my quarters to shower, put on dress green uniforms before going to the pentagon to meet with admiral mullen and secretary gates. two hours later, i left the white house after a short and professional meeting with president obama. i drove to fort mcnair to tell
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afghanistan, for our military and for our country. i don't make this decision based on any difference in policy with general mcchrystal as we are in full agreement about our strategy. stan mcchrystal has always shown great courtesy and carried out my orders faithfully. i've got great admiration for him and for his long record of service in uniform. but war is bigger than any one man or woman, whether a private, a general, or a president. the conduct represented in the recently published article does not meet the standard that should be set by a commander general. it undermines the civilian control of the the military that is at the core of our democratic system and it erodes the trust that's necessary for our team to work together to achieve our be objectives in afghanistan.
my multiple responsibilities as commander-in-chief led me to this decision. >> sean: welcome back to our exclusive sit-down with retired general stanley mcchrystal. that was president obama explaining the general's resignation hours after the release of rolling stone profile of the general in 2010 and still with me to talk about that article and his abrupt ending of his long career the man of the hour, general stanley mcchrystal. maybe this goes back down to the burning of the house and your days at west point, general, but you had two instances where you had to deal with president obama on some controversial issues. the first, i guess, was in copenhagen on air force one. why don't we explain that one first. >> sure. there had been a -- i had been requested by the government of the united kingdom to come to the united kingdom and do some events to explain our strategy, what was going on in afghanistan, which i did. in one of the events there was an interpretation that i had
criticized vice-president biden. now, if you listen to the event or read the transcript in no way did that happen. i was asked a question whether i thought a single cto or direct-action only would be enough to secure afghanistan. and vice-president biden was never mentioned in the question, the response and never occurred to me in any way was that connected. it was connected by one reporter and it became a controversy that i thought really was much ado about nothing, but it came to me and i accepted the fact that i need to be very, very careful not about just what i said, but how it pretty be interpreted. >> sean: that brings us to the rolling stone article. embeds with the military all the time, you allowed this guy from rolling stone in and it sounded to me as i read it again, that you guys kind of
let your hair down in front of this guy. >> we did a number of media engagements throughout the time i was there because one of the things i had to do was explain the war in afghanistan to people in europe, to afghans, to american leaders, but also to families, people whose sons and daughters were fighting. they had a right to that transparency, so we gave access to a wide variety of media to include periodic em beds. the rolling stone was one of those embeds, in this particular case, the account that that reporter produced was very different to my interpretation of events or the nature of my staff, who i have extraordinary regard for. but listen, i was a commander. when you're in command, whether you like the outcome or not, you accept responsibility. and that's what i did. >> sean: but you tell the story that you wake up, you'd woken up at 2 a.m. and really bad and knew within an hour you had to resign and here you'd dedicated your entire
life to your country. what was the meeting with president obama like in the oval office? >> well, first off, when you wake up and you have something very unexpected arise because it's a controversy that you don't believe has merit, but it's a controversy. when a controversy arises, that puts my commander, my commander-in-chief, that's who i work for, that puts my commander-in-chief in a difficult position and that's not my job. my responsibility is to support the mission, the soldiers who work for me and my commander-in-chief. as soon as i saw the controversy was going to reach the levels it did, i was confident at least i need today offer my resignation. >> sean: if he would have asked you to stay, would you have? >> i told president obama that day i would do whatever was best for the mission. i would be happy to go back and continue to command or if he decided to accept my resignation, in fact, i would move out.
>> sean: and you voted for him in 2008. this happened in 2010. may i ask you did you vote for him in 2012. >> i'm a private citizen and i'll keep that to myself. >> sean: you're going to keep to yourself on that one. all of a sudden your career ends, walk out of the office and president accepted your resignation. what are you thinking? who did you call? what's that like for you? >> several things. the first thing is, it's a short drive back to fort mcnair. i drive back to the fort mcnair, i'd come in early that morning after flying all night. taken a shower, put on my uniform headed first to the pentagon and the white house and annie knew what the controversy was, but she had no idea what the likely outcome was. as i drove back, several things came into my mind. first, i had 150,000 soldiers counting on me many who had deployed simply because i'd asked them. many individuals on the staff stop what you're doing, come on. my command major, my call was
for retired for 18 months and i called him come back on active duty and come to war and he did. so that was the first people i let down were those, the soldiers. and i thought i'd let down the mission, but you know, for someone who believes in you for-- you've been married more than 33 years at that point, the one person who's esteem and whose love was most important to me was annie. she'd been an army brat and married me right after i got out of west points and we'd gone through every step of this together. she never complained about the deployment and gone to the funerals, was there when i came out of surgery and every step she'd been there and i had to go and tell her that it was over, because her life takes a hard right turn as much as mine. so, i got out of the car and the one beauty is, i thought i knew the response i walked in and she was standing in the entranceway and i said, it's
over. the president accepted my resignation and she looked at me and she didn't get mad, she didn't say, that's wrong. she said, good. we've always been happy and we always will be. >> sean: we'll pick it up there when we come back. the general's closing thoughts on his life in the military and the abrupt end to miss storied career. what lies ahead for the general and his family straight ahead. before copd... i took my son fishing every year. we had a great spot, not easy to find, but worth it. but with copd making it hard to breathe,
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>> i believe in people. and i still believe in them. i trusted and i still trust. i cared and i still care. i wouldn't have had it any other way. winston churchill said we make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give. to the young leaders of today and tomorrow, it's a great life. >> sean: welcome back to the special edition of "hannity," that was a cliff of general mcchrystal giving his farewell address, 2010. and his new book on book shelves everywhere "my share of the task" and you never saw obama's comments about you leaving until now. >> just this minute. >> sean: your reaction? >> of course, it brings back something that i want to move on from and it brings back
sadness and regret that it happened, but most important to me, what i tried to do with my life now is be the leader that the people who believed in me before continue to believe in me and to conduct myself in a way that would cause them to believe that it's important to lead with responsibility. >> sean: general petraeus followed you. we know what happened with him. you obviously are friends with him. >> i am. >> sean: what are your thoughts? >> well, my thoughts are for dave and holly petraeus. i saw up close what dave did for the nation and for the missions we were in and what he did for me and i just want the two of them to be happy. >> sean: all right. i won't go further than that. i want to bring in your wife here, annie and he gets up at 3:30 a.m., sleeps five hours a night and one meal a day. >> yes. >> sean: and bring us back to the day when he told you he met with the president. >> when he came back in, i
never thought ahead of time what i would say, i didn't know what the outcome would be. i think i had an idea what the outcome was going to be, i knew he was ticking his letter of resignation with him. and i never once thought about what do you say and he walked in the door and said the first thing that came to mind. >> sean: i've read this, i've read this a number of times. i don't think this rises to the level of accepting the resignation from a man who dedicated his whole career to his country. am i fair on that? do you think that this was fair? do you sense any level of unfairness? >> i don't think that's really ever analyzed like that. i know stan well enough he was going to take responsibilities. and i think that because there had been such a media frenzy that had taken place, i agree with stan, at that point, as stan says when he thought the mission was the most important thing and at that point the media frenzy over it